Teaching as a Rewarding Career

As a decent-paying job that is widely available across all of Thailand, TEFL is a great way to earn money while exploring the many attractions in Thailand or soaking in the easy-going culture. In fact, TEFL in Thailand is the #1 that foreigners from the West finance their journey in the Land of Smiles. Jobs are plentiful, and with the right qualifications (a 4-year degree from a Western university and in-person or online TEFL certification) a pioneering adventurer can relatively easily and quickly land a job. Here, we’ll explore what to expect while teaching English in Thailand as well as a few tips for success in the workplace.

Financial Expectations of TEFL Work in Thailand

The minimum pay in Thailand for a Western English teacher is typically 30,000 baht (around $1,000 USD) per month or about $12,000 USD per year. While this may not seem like a lot of money in South Africa, Europe, or North America, it is much higher than the average Thai salary.

Public government-run schools usually start teachers without much experience at this salary level. International schools, however, pay much more. A seasoned teacher with the right credentials can make 100,000 baht (around $3,300 USD). This is enough to live more than comfortably, even in the most expensive high-society areas of Bangkok.

Navigating the Thai Workplace

Office politics are essential aspects of work-life everywhere, and Thailand is no exception. The difference in the Land of Smiles is that the values are quite different from those found in Western office cultures. 

Perhaps the single most important thing to understand is the concept of saving face. When conflict arises, the vast majorities of Thais will not address it head-on. Whereas it might be normal in a South Africa workplace for two colleagues to discuss any sources of conflict forthrightly and directly, this will likely not happen in a Thai office.

Thais generally avoid open conflict at all costs. A teacher may offend his supervisor or workmates and not even realize it. This has historically led to many misunderstandings between Thais and foreigners, especially in office environments. The best way to overcome this pitfall is to become familiar with Thai culture to avoid violating norms (even unwittingly) as much as possible.

 

Overall, teaching English in Thai schools can be an enriching experience of navigated properly. This career path can not only sustain a robust lifestyle while in Thailand but also builds the foundations for high-paying work if/when the teacher returns to the West. 

Strategies Of Teaching English

There are several strategies that teachers can employ in the classroom to optimize their time with students and maximize results. Often, the teaching method that is most effective can depend on the learning type or personality of the students. In smaller groups, then, strategies can be developed on an individual basis. In larger groups, the teacher must design classroom activities for a broader audience.

Here are a few common methods that TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers can use:

Visual Learning

Many
students retain vocabulary best when they have a picture or image to associate
with the English term or phrase. Some examples of visual learning can include
flashcards, which have an image which illustrates the target vocabulary term.
Repetition can engrain the vocabulary and associated image in the mind of the
learner. Many games can be designed using flashcards, making them a versatile
and engaging tool – especially for young learners.

Another
example of visual learning is “acting” activities like charades. A student may
stand in front of the room and act out a term like “jogging” for example. The
students will mimic the movements of a jogger and other students will guess the
English term.

Role Playing

Using
real-world situations as templates for practicing
English can be very effective. For example, if the lesson involves language
associated with travel and tourism, the teacher might ask students to create
and then rehearse a dialogue using terms such as “reception” or “room service”
in the context of checking into a hotel. This can be done with student pairs or
between a single student and the teacher.

Group Discussions

For
slightly more advanced groups, holding a group discussion to talk about issues,
with guidance in sentence formation from the instructor, can help students
achieve a more natural cadence to their speech. This method can be very
engaging if the topic of discussion is something that the students are
interested in – for example, teenagers may be interested in certain celebrities
like musicians or actors.

These
are just a few examples of teaching methods that have proven successful in
practical application. Many more options are available, depending on the
personality, ages, and interests of students.

Learn English Online For Free

There is no replacement for formal learning environments. Learning complex grammatical rules, how to properly compose written works like essays or stories, studying English-language literature, and other more advanced aspects of English learning can really only be taught by qualified teachers with some level of structure and strategy involved. However, for mere communication, to learn some new vocabulary, or even to pick up useful slang not taught typically in academic environments, there are many free resources available and easily accessible.

  1. Social Media

The internet has truly revolutionized every aspect of modern life. Connecting to people around the globe is easier than ever. And, if you find yourself in an area where there are few English speakers, you might want to consider making some online friends. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and others operate primarily in English. The majority of internet sites are hosted in English. Most YouTube videos are in English.

  • Music streaming

Not only is English-language music ubiquitous on the web, but you can also easily find the lyrics to go along with your favorite jams as well. So, why not kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and read along while you listen to the new Katy Perry or Justin Bieber record? You might pick up some slang vocabulary that you can use with a native speaker – words that, while not formal, can make communication more fun.

  • Video games

Many video games are released in English. Also, many online video games like first-person shooters and role-playing games allow users to interact with each other. In these contexts, you’ll discover many native speakers. Try out your latest phrases you’ve learned in the classroom. In this way, you’ll not only learn more of the language but you’ll develop an ear for the large array of accents across the globe, from South Africa to Ireland to Canada.

  • Movies

Downloading or streaming films (legally) is easy on the web. For a small fee, a Netflix account will open up access to all kinds of movies and shows, many of which are in English. The next time you put on a Hollywood movie, turn off the subtitles. Try to follow along with the dialogue, relying as little as possible on translation services or other ways.

Use the gift of internet access to your benefit – the ways to increase your English skill with this medium are nearly infinite.

English Learning: Advantage Of English Language In Our Life

English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. 53 countries have designated English the official language of their nation and the number of speakers is in the hundreds of millions. English is the international language of business. Nearly all business between nations is conducted in English. As the world becomes more interconnected and international trade grows, the importance of having this lingual ability will grow as well.

Vital to the international business scene, the internet is increasingly important for communication and commerce. The primary language of the internet is English. Over 50 percent of all the sites around the world utilize English.

Getting Around

As far as navigating the globe, English is absolutely necessary. Whether you are landing in Riyadh on the Arabian Peninsula or the Ivory Coast in West Africa, the signs, maps, and other tools for travel will all be in English. When you speak to a taxi driver or a flight attendant, the preferred method will be English.

Education is another important aspect of English ability. All “international” schools and prestigious universities around the globe offer courses in English. Having the ability to speak, understand, read and write English will open huge doors and allow for much more potential career growth than not being able to communicate in English.

Making Friends

How about making friends? When an Iranian, a Russian, an aboriginal Australian, and a Mongolian meet in a café for drinks and conversation, what language do you suppose they speak? That’s right – English!

Many great pieces of literature have been written in English. Of course, literature is not limited to English and can be appreciated in many languages. Nonetheless, such great writers as Shakespeare and Mark Twain wrote their works in English. Acquiring a solid grasp on the language, you can appreciate the subtleties of their works and perhaps gain some new perspective on life.

Speaking of the arts, the majority of internationally successful movies and music use the medium of English. Think of the biggest blockbusters and best-selling singers. Titanic’s characters Jack and Kate fell in love speaking English to each other. Justin Bieber sings his songs in English. Had these artists and their supporting casts made their pieces using some other language, it is unlikely they would have achieved the widespread appeal that they enjoyed.

These are just a few benefits to learning English. Almost anybody, barring some extreme circumstances, can learn English given enough time and the right instructors.